More than 250 veterans are expected to attend a job fair Friday at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner. It’s part of a national campaign designed to help veterans as well as military spouses.
Ross Cohen is senior director of the “Hiring Our Heroes” program run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He says the unemployment rate for veterans is higher than the national average.
“For veterans who have served since 9/11, it’s actually 12.1 percent. That was the average annualized basis for last year, which is about 40 percent higher than the national average. And then, for veterans who are 25 years and under, it’s actually 29 percent.”
Cohen, who served as a paratrooper in Afghanistan, says veterans make great employees, but have trouble selling the value of their military experience. He says he’ll speak to the more than 70 companies – large and small – that have signed up for the job fair.
“It’s not just the right thing to do for the country; it’s the right thing to do for the economy and for your businesses," he said. "And that’s what I’ll be saying when I’m speaking.”
Veterans and businesses that have jobs open can still register for the event on the Hiring Our Heroes website, or drop by during the job fair from 9 a.m. to noon.